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FPRP News (December 2018 issue)

December 18, 2018

Hello and welcome to the final FPRP newsletter for 2018! In this issue, learn about the progress of our Family Practice Networks (FPNs), recent and upcoming Practice Improvement Program events, and the Fall launch of our Fee Code Program.


  Family Practice Networks  

As noted in our last issue, there are now three FPNs in the province: Long Range FPN in Western, Shalloway FPN in Central, and the Endeavour FPN in the St. John’s metro area. Our three FPNs have a combined physician membership of over 100 family physicians, with more than 25 physicians in leadership roles as Board Directors.

To find out more about each FPN, and/or to complete an application for membership, please visit the respective FPN page on our website: Long Range, Shalloway, and Endeavor.

Managers have recently been hired for each FPN, and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the FPRP community! Please click here to learn more about our FPN Managers.

Long Range FPN Manager – Gary Kelly


Gary Kelly officially began his role as Manager for the Long Range FPN on October 15, 2018.


Long Range FPN Board and Executive Officers
with manager, Gary Kelly, planning for 2019!

[L to R: Paula Cooper (vice-chair), Shanda Slipp (chair), Mark Smallwood (board member), Back: Gary Kelly (FPN Manager)]

Shalloway FPN Manager – Monica Bull


Monica Bull starts her new role with the Shalloway FPN on January 9, 2019.

Endeavor FPN Manager – Adam Wylie


Adam Wylie takes on his new role with the Endeavor FPN on January 7, 2019.

Rural Eastern FPN

Physicians in the “rural eastern” part of the province are working on an Expression of Interest for development of a fourth FPN. Nine physicians comprise a working group representing Burin, Marystown, Clarenville, Port Blandford, Bonavista, Bay Roberts, and Carbonear. We look forward to working with these physicians on FPN development in their area!

New Board Members

The Shalloway FPN is happy to welcome two new Board members: Dr. Rebecca Mawhinney (New World Island) and Dr. Desmond Whalen (Grand Falls-Windsor). Rebecca is a recent graduate of Memorial University’s Family Medicine Program and started practice in New World Island in August of 2018. Des is in Year 2 of Memorial University’s Family Medicine Resident Training Program. The Shalloway FPN Board is pleased to welcome these new family physician leaders!




  Fee Codes Registration  

Registration for FPRP’s Fee Code Program began in early October. As of Dec 10th, 120 physicians have registered and are now eligible to bill two new fee codes:

Our first two codes for launch are:

Shared Care Code: Provides participating physicians with compensation for two-way conferencing with other healthcare providers for development of a patient care plan.

Patient Care Telephone Code: Provides participating physicians with compensation for two-way telephone communication between the physician (or other health care provider employed within the physician’s office) and the patient (or the patient’s medical representative).

For more details on each new code, and to access supporting resources, please visit our Resources page.

To complete online registration for the Fee Code Program, please click here.


As communicated previously, we are now working on the next fee code for development, for enhanced care of patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The evidence shows that a code focused on COPD carries significant opportunity for improvements in patient care in our province. We are consulting closely with our Clinical Advisory Group  and the Respirology community on code development. Stay tuned for further details in Spring 2019.



  Practice Improvement Program  


Core Geriatric Experiences in Primary Care

  • 2-part program:
    • Frailty 1: Dementia, Delirium
    • Frailty 2: Appropriate Prescribing, Elimination, Falls
  • Developed and delivered by: Drs. Roger Butler, Jason McCarthy, Susan Mercer, Jody Woolfrey, Jared Butler, Amy Pieroway, Erin Smallwood, Kim Babb, and Alysha Mehta
  • Format: Face-to-Face
  • 4-6 hour sessions (to be determined)
  • Open to Family Physicians and Nurse Practitioners (invited through Family Physicians)

Quality Improvement and Enhanced Access

FPRP is working on the design of an education and support program to help family physicians and their staff improve practice management and clinic efficiency, enabling enhanced access to, and delivery of, patient care. The ultimate intent is to foster improvements in primary care by helping physicians build practice capacity, improved patient-physician longitudinal attachment, continuity and comprehensiveness of care, improved team-based approaches to care, and improved health prevention and promotion.

Family physicians will be consulted through a needs assessment phase to occur over the winter months. Focus sessions and interviews will be held across the province with family physicians, clinic staff, and patients. These sessions will be coordinated through organized groups including FPNs, Regional and Local Medical Advisory Committees, and Regional Cabinet Streams. A physician survey will also be distributed in the new year (see below). More details to follow. 

Two Surveys in 2019 – We Need Your Input!

  • In January, a survey exploring family physician attitudes and experiences within the NL primary care system—as a baseline assessment for our program; and
  • In March, a survey exploring family physician practice issues to inform development of an education and support program to help improve clinic efficiency and practice management.

These will be brief, user-friendly surveys (web-based) and are critical to inform development of our programs. We’ll be in touch with more details early in the new year.



  Recent Events  

Throughout the Fall months, our Practice Improvement Program has hosted a number of well-attended events.

Family Physician/Consultant Events

Based on a “speed meeting” concept with focused table discussions between family physicians and specialty areas, events were held in the following locations:

  • Corner Brook—October 18: 19 family physician participants with consultants in Dermatology, Obstetrics, Urology, Internal Medicine.
  • St. John’s—October 25: 23 family physician participants with consultants in Rheumatology, Obstetrics, Psychiatry, Public Health and Preventive Medicine.
  • Grand Falls-Windsor—November 1: 16 family physician participants with consultants in Internal Medicine (Gastroenterology), Urology, Radiology, and Anesthesia.

Participant feedback was very positive for all three events, and further offerings are being planned for 2019, in different locations across the province. Stay tuned for more details!

Click here to access a summary of participant evaluation results. 

COPD: Comprehensive Management of COPD for the Family Physician

Led by Dr. Gokul Vidyasankar (Respirologist) and Dr. Roxanne Cooper (Family Physician), a first session was held in Gander at the Family Medicine Conference on October 14. Topics included: Diagnosis, Approach to Pharmacotherapy, Choice of Inhaler, Strategy for NLPDP coverage, Exacerbation Management, Remote Patient Monitoring, and Referrals. Again, based on positive physician feedback, a webinar offering will take place on January 15, with 34 physicians already signed up. To register, please visit our event invitation page.

Fee Code Support/Practice Integration

Two webinars supporting new code integration were held on October 30 (30 participants) and November 20 (23 participants). Please click here to access a recorded version of the November 20 session.



  Program staff  

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss any element of our program, please don’t hesitate to contact our staff. We are more than happy to answer your questions!



Transforming family practice for better health.
Family physicians, primary health care providers, and patients working together for an effective and sustainable system.
tel. (709) 726-7424
fax. (709) 726-7525
NLMA House
164 MacDonald Drive
St. John’s, NL A1A 4B3